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Knowledge Articles by Vikram Soni on

“Preserve and Use” or Non Invasive, responsible, Public-Interest Science


The Knowledge section gives creative solutions for preserve and use of natural resources. It explains the resource and sets economic value on it and will equip citizens to have a knowledge base to start working on preservation. It has material which has been published in reputed journals on Delhi’s natural resources.


Natural Cities:


- Natural Cities- by Vikram Soni  and Arvind Vimani published in ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY, May,2014

Cities should be able to manage themselves and be self-sustaining, with a single energy input. This article presents the idea of natural cities.


- Delhi Mumbai Corridor- by Vikram Soni and Romi Khosla published in ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY, Mar, 2012

Coming out of a key recommendation of the McKinsey Global Institute report on India's urbanisation in the coming decades, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project envisages the establishment of several new cities, industrial nodes, ports, airports and high-speed rail and road lines over six states. However, as is typical of such research and policy vision documents that have been farmed out to international corporate consultants, the project analysis relies on several arguable assumptions about resource availability, especially of water in a severely water-defi cit region.

- Black towns of the 21st Century, India’s Urban Landscape- by Romi Khosla published in ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY, Jan, 2017

The new Indian urban landscape is being designed around grand concepts such as smart cities and export-oriented industrial corridors. In our desire to be global, we are emulating outdated models of urbanisation and economic progress borrowed from nations that have grown rich through questionable means. Our cities remain bloated extensions of the early capitalist, modern European city, dogged by poverty and the concentration of wealth. We need to search for a future from our own capabilities and geographies.


-A process for organic water- by Vikram Soni, Ravi Mehrotra, P.S. Datta and S.Chander published in Current Science, Apr,2009



Carrying Capacity and Water Budget of a city, Delhi:

- Water and Carrying Capacity of a city : Delhi- by Vikram Soni published in ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY,Nov,2003

A study that estimates the carrying capacity of a city based on all aspects of  available water resources

- Delhi’s Water Budget : Consumption Discharge and Groundwater Withdrawal -
by Diwan Singh and Vikram Soni (Natural Heritage First).

An analysis of the water situation in Delhi that differs from the Government data

- Integral Heritage :
Vikram Soni and Tarini Manchanda.

A proposal to list and preserve our valuable natural heritage as we preserve our built heritage

Floodplains: A hidden treasure


-A new scheme for large-scale natural water storage in the floodplains: the Delhi Yamuna floodplains as a case study: Vikram Soni, A.K.Gosain, P.S.Datta and Diwan Singh
published in Current Science, May, 2009

We propose a scheme for the natural storage of excess monsoon water discharge in the extensive and deep sand top layer of the floodplain of the river.


-Floodplains: self-recharging and self-sustaining aquifers for city water

Vikram Soni, Diwan Singh, published in Current Science, 2013


- Book review: River Water Sharing: Transboundary Conflict and Cooperation in India.

Vikram Soni: published in Current Science, Feb, 2011



 Evaluating our Natural Resources :

-Environmental flow for the Yamuna river in Delhi as an example of monsoon rivers in India: Vikram Soni, Shashank Shekhar and Diwan Singh


With an eye on all the natural functions of a river, the present article considers the flow of the river Yamuna in Delhi as an example of monsoon rivers in India. About 80% of the total virgin flow of Indian rivers is during the monsoon period and the remaining 20% is during the non-monsoon period. In case of the river Yamuna in Delhi, we find that at least 50% of the virgin monsoon (July to September) flow is required for transport of the full spectrum of soil particles in the river sediment. A similar flow is needed for adequate recharge of the floodplain aquifers along the river. For the non-monsoon period (October to June), at least 60% of the virgin flow is necessary to avoid growth of still-water algae and to support river biodiversity. We conclude that about 50–60% of the virgin flow is necessary throughout the year to maintain the health of the river system.


- Three Waters :An evaluation of urban groundwater resource in Delhi
Vikram Soni (CURRENT SCIENCE, 760 VOL. 93, NO. 6, 25 SEPTEMBER 2007)

In this article, the author has evaluated the potential of the three major water resources of the city. i.e. the Ridge, the Yamuna and the deep underground aquifers that take 50 – 100 years to recharge

-A New Scheme for Large Scale Natural Water Storage in the Floodplains:The Delhi Yamuna Floodplains as a Case Study - Vikram Soni, A K Gosain, P S Datta ( IARI), and Diwan Singh .

Current Science,Vol 96, No 10 (2009)

A non-invasive scheme for  natural recharge and use of the Yamuna floodplains that can give us more than 2/3rd the water requirement for Delhi ( worth ~$2 billions a year).

-Groundwater loss and Recover:: Satellite Data underestimates groundwater loss in cropped land in Northwest India, Vikram Soni, Publishedin Currento Science (2012)

We use ground agricultural data to assess the loss of water in the cultivated area in northwest India and find that this loss is about 3.5 times the reported average loss over the whole area using NASA gravity satellite, ‘GRACE’, data. This long term water deficit would result in a loss of 40% of the cultivated area. If this area is turned into forest agriculture, water loss may be recovered in about forty years. By sequestering carbon and saving water transport cost, forest agriculture can substantially cut total carbon emissions.

- Waste Lands as Water Sanctuaries -
Vikram Soni (CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 94, NO. 6, 25 MARCH 2008)

These are possibly the only source left for fresh water as these are neither polluted by fertilizers and pesticides nor by any industrial waste



Forest Regeneration :

-Restoring Forest Cover on Degraded Land : Three Dimensional Plantations :
by Vikram Soni published in the journal of the Swedish Royal Society – AMBIO , Vol.30, No.3, May 2001

Plantations without planting : On how shallow quarrying can result in natural regeneration of forests in compacted rocky areas.



General articles: Economics and Natural Resources

- Conserve or Perish :
by Vikram Soni published in DNA, Mumbai edition, 5 June,2007

The article talks about the excess in consumption and technology that is killing the living planet.

-  Land Scam :
by Rashme Sehgal, Asian Age

Reflects on how the inflating value of land is forcing our invaluable natural resource into the hands of commercial lobby. A case study in point is of how  the Vasant Kunj Malls have come up on the precious ridge in Delhi in spite of all legal protection

-  The Invisible Hand that is building India :
by Kuldeep Nayar and Vikram Soni

An interesting analysis on how the commercial lobbies are multiplying their incomes and halving our income without letting us know

Tribal People and Preserving prime Forests : by Vikram Soni published in The Hindu, 29 Nov.,2005.

Shows that if all forest dwellere ( tribal people) settled on prime forest, it would have the average population density of the country!

See Hindu websites



Nature’s Rights :


-Nature has Rights too :
By Vikram Soni and Sanjay Parikh

Published in:
InfoChange News & Features, April 2008

Protection of Nature's rights is more important than human rights for human survival. There is a subterfuge of language, from expressions like green buildings, compensatory afforestation, ecofriendly, that is subverting this.

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